National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
The Theme for 2016 is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right,” which encourages everyone to take time to enjoy food traditions and appreciate the pleasures, great flavors and social experiences food can add to our lives.
How, when, why and where we eat are just as important as what we eat. Develop a mindful eating pattern that includes nutritious and flavorful foods – that’s the best way to savor the flavor of eating right!
3 Tips for National Nutrition Month
- Get Cooking! Preparing foods at home can be healthy, rewarding and cost-effective. Resolve to learn some cooking and kitchen basics, like how to dice an onion or cook dried beans.
- Enact Family Meal Time: Plan to eat as a family at least a few times each week. Set a regular mealtime. Turn off the TV, phones and other electronic devices to encourage mealtime talk. Get kids involved in meal planning and cooking and use this time to teach them about good nutrition.
- Explore New Foods and Flavors: Add more nutrition and eating pleasure by expanding your range of food choices. When shopping, make a point of selecting a fruit, vegetable or whole grain that’s new to you or your family. Try different versions of familiar foods like purple asparagus, honeycrisp apples, broccoflower or quinoa.
Source: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics NNM
Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos with Salsa Verde
These tacos are bursting with bold flavors. Remove the seeds and membrane of the jalapeño if your family prefers a milder flavor, or just omit the jalapeño. Queso fresco is a mild, crumbly Mexican cheese that can be found in many major supermarkets. If you can’t find it, feta is a good substitute.
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 12 thighs)
- 1 ½ tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 medium jalapeño, sliced into thin rings (optional)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 ½ cups salsa verde (green tomatillo salsa), divided
- ½ cup fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 24 (6-inch) corn tortillas
- ½ cup crumbled queso fresco cheese
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 limes, cut into wedges (optional)
- In a small bowl, combine cumin, salt and pepper. Rub mixture evenly over chicken thighs. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of chicken; cook 3 minutes per side or until browned. Transfer to a 5-or 6-quart slow cooker. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken.
- Heat remaining ½ tablespoon oil in pan over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, jalapeño and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables are tender and begin to brown. Transfer to slow cooker. Add 2 cups salsa and broth. Cover and cook on low 4 to 6 hours or until chicken shreds easily with a fork.
- Remove chicken to a large bowl using a slotted spoon; shred with 2 forks.
- Warm tortillas according to package instructions. Fill each tortilla with about ¼ cup chicken mixture, 1 teaspoon cheese, 1 teaspoon salsa and ½ teaspoon cilantro. Serve with lime wedges if desired.
Serving size: 2 tacos
Calories: 340; Total Fat: 14g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Trans Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 80mg; Sodium: 620mg; Total Carbohydrate: 30g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugars: 7g; Protein: 24g; Vitamin A: 25%; Vitamin C: 8%; Calcium: 6%; Iron: 8%.